The City of Livorno (Italian) is the gateway to Tuscany and an attractive tourist destination in its own right. The Medici family recognized its strategic importance for commerce and military security and installed the Fortezza Vecchia (Old Fortress) and the original canal system (Medici Fossi) that characterizes the city.
One of the most famous landmarks in the Port of Livorno is the Monument of Four Moors at the city’s gate. The marble statue portrays Grand Duke Ferdinando I di Medici surrounded by four Moors of bronze. Created in the late 16th Century, the original monument, containing only the Duke, was finished in 1599. The first two Moors were added in 1623 and the second two in 1626. The Moors are represented as agonized and chained prisoners surrounding the feet of a victorious Duke.
The Val di Cornia Parks are natural and archaeological parks in south Livorno on the Populonia promontory. Each of the seven parks tells a story of the history of the area from the ancient Etruscans through centuries of mining to areas of breathtaking natural beauty. Near the island of Elba, The system includes two archaeological parks, four natural parks, one museum, and one documentation center.
The 17th Century Nuova Venezia quarter preserves original features from the era, including the Medici canals connecting the homes and warehouses of merchants with entrance rooms for storage of goods. Much beautiful architecture can be seen on the Via Borra. There are many impressive civic and religious buildings in the quarter including an 18th Century oil warehouse, the Bottini dell’Olio. The Piazza della Republica is a bridge with unique architecture covering a navigable canal in the quarter.
The Port of Livorno boasts wonderful seafront walk where visitors can enjoy palm trees, tamarisks, cliffs, beaches, and beautifully-eroded rocks. Near the ancient Medici Fortress are fishing boats and recreational vessels running for nine kilometers to Antignano village. The avenue is lined with bathing spas, art exhibitions, wonderful villas, and many places to rest and enjoy the waterfront.
The Port of Livorno offers a rich sampling of local cuisine. The local cacciucco (fish stew), salt and dried cod, and red mullet is unique to the city and its historic cultural mix. Diners can find these dishes at traditional trattorias and elegant restaurants along the waterfront or on the banks of the canals. Visitors may also want to visit the Central Market with its 19th Century architecture and wonderful offerings of freshly-caught fish, spices, fruits, and many other agricultural and marine products.
Italy’s Naval Academy is located in the Port of Livorno, and they use the Amerigo Vespucci to conduct marine military training.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Livorno by sea will find a long list of scheduled cruises at the Cruise Compete website.
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